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Episode 721: Unbuilding A City

Why is it so hard to knock down 17 vacant houses in a shrinking city?
NPR

'Mystery Shoppers' Help U.S. Regulators Fight Racial Discrimination At Banks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is sending undercover operatives to ferret out racial discrimination. They're called "testers" or "mystery shoppers" and pose as customers applying for loans.
NPR

Thrill Ride Accidents Renew Calls For Regulation

A Kansas waterslide recently decapitated a 10-year-old boy, and the tragedy is raising new questions about thrill ride regulation. No federal agency oversees amusement parks or water parks.
NPR

Top Fed Officials Field Questions From Activists Unhappy Over Monetary Policy

At a "listening session" at the Fed conference in Jackson Hole, liberal groups warn about the impact on poor and minority communities of raising interest rates too quickly.
NPR

After Losing Steam In Smartphones, Chinese Firm Turns To Smart Rice Cookers

One of China's most valuable tech startups, smartphone maker Xiaomi, is getting into networked appliances, in a bid to innovate its way out of trouble, as its core business falls flat.
NPR

Despite Low Oil Prices, Shell Moves Forward With Pa. Petrochemical Plant

Even in a down time for its oil and gas business, Shell has decided to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker — which makes natural gas into plastics and chemicals — in gas-rich Pennsylvania.
NPR

Examining The Effectiveness Of The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

There's a part of trade agreements that deals with how to help people in the U.S. who are harmed when jobs move abroad because of trade. It's called Trade Adjustment Assistance. Does it work?
NPR

America's Real Mountain Of Cheese Is On Our Plates

To help dairy farmers hurt by a glut, the USDA said this week it'll buy $20 million worth of cheese and give it to food banks. But we eat so much of the stuff, that's hardly a drop in the bucket.
NPR

Volkswagen Has Tentative Deal To Compensate U.S. Dealers In Emissions Scandal

The negotiations follow VW's installation of software in its diesel vehicles that cheated on pollution tests. The dealers' sales plummeted on the news. VW will give them cash payments under the deal.
NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

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